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,,0            A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
himself and his followers against the attacks of his enemies in order to uphold the cause of Allah.
"The war and conquests that took place later were meant, no doubt, to protect Islam. The conquerors gave the vanquished three alternatives: (a) to adopt Islam and be their equal, () to pay tribute which would mitigate the poverty of the Arabs, and in return receive protection of life and property, (c) or else to continue to fight them.
"No doubt, however, these wars were brought about partly by political, partly by social, and partly by economic reasons. The allegation, however, that Islam was propagated entirely by the sword is false; later on, Islam spread without any recourse to war. Did not the Mongols and the Tartars, who swept over Asia and destroyed the magnificent Islamic civilization, and who were the Muslims' bitter enemies, embrace Islam and become zealous supporters of it? If we refer to history and impartially examine its records, we are bound to find in it sufficient proof to refute the above allegation."
"What is Your Eminence's personal opinion of the Western people and institutions from an Oriental standpoint, so far as you have seen or heard of them?" was my next query.
"My personal opinion of Western people is that they have reached a high standard of culture, both scientific and social, but I remark that Western civilization lacks spiritual motives. We cannot consider civilization as perfect unless both the material and spiritual nature of men are taken into account, since they are complementary to each other and are mutually counterbalanced.
"As to European institutions, we admire and try to adopt many of them, urged by the very text of our Holy Book:
'Announce glad tidings unto my servants who hearken unto exhortation and follow that js best thereof. These are they whom Allah guideth unto His Religion and these are men of understanding.'
"Our Prophet supports this, too; he said:
" 'Wisdom is the lost treasure of the true believer, he taketh it wherever he findeth it.'
"All we object to in Western institutions is the excess in the individual freedom, as it leads to serious improprieties which tend to undermine the very existence of these institutions.
"While we admit that this principle of individual freedom